Successful 2nd Annual Gala Supports Residents

March 27, 2013 · by pcriadmin · Featured, PCRI

PCRI’s Second Annual Dancing with the Stars Portland Gala was another dazzling success, raising over $70,000 to support the affordable housing and services PCRI residents depend on to achieve stability and self-sufficiency.

Starting off the evening’s program, Mayor Charlie and First Lady Nancy Hales took to the dance floor with a dramatic tango.

Following the Mayor’s dance performance (and a packed reception before that), last year’s champion dancer, Melvin Oden-Orr hosted the evening as Master of Ceremonies, introducing guests to Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick, Deputy Director Greg Brown, and Board of Directors President Karen Gibson.  Kelly Russell of Kelly Russell Auctions motivated guests to get their bid numbers in the air for an exciting auction and successful special appeal, featuring former PCRI resident-turned-homeowner Rachel Allen.

Former PCRI Board Member Barbara B. Smith, presented her namesake Community Support Award to Michael Parkhurst, who recently completed his second and final term of board service (Michael Parkhurst is pictured below with Maxine Fitzpatrick, left, and Barbara B. Smith, right).  Current Board President Karen Gibson returned to the stage to present an award of special recognition to Gretchen Kafoury for her advocacy for affordable housing, most specifically for her stewardship creating PCRI over 20 years ago.  Mrs. Kafoury’s daughter, Multnomah County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury (and a star dancer at last year’s gala) accepted the award in Gretchen’s honor.

The headlining entertainment of the evening, the Dancing with the Stars-style competition, was also a runaway success.  Five prominent local celebrities were each trained by and paired with professional dancers from Portland’s Fred Astaire Dance Studio.  Each dancing couple put on a spectacular show in the individual performance as well as the group waltz competition.  In between dances, the competition’s star judges (pictured below) kept the audience entertained with commentary about the dancers’ performances.

Pressed to crown a champion, the judges had their work cut out for them:  Simone Brooks, President of Brooks Staffing, started the competition with a fast-paced cha cha.  She and dance partner Sergey Inc (pictured below) of Fred Astaire Dance Studio had guests cheering for more.

Adam Zimmerman, Executive Vice President at Craft3 danced a captivating foxtrot with Fred Astaire Studio’s Jessi Reynolds (pictured below) and kept the crowd at the edge of their seats.

KGW NewsChannel 8 Reporter Katherine Cook took to the floor next, bringing a taste of Latin drama alongside professional partner Malik Delgado.  Cook and Delgado (pictured below) wowed the judges with a tango choreographed to “Por Una Cabeza” from the movie “The Scent of a Woman.”

Up next, Joey Webber (otherwise known at Timber Joey, pictured below) and Fred Astaire Studio partner Sydney Weir lit up the floor with a crowd-pleasing Hustle performed to Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.”

Rounding out the first portion of the competition, Ruby Receptionists founder and CEO Jill Nelson performed a sultry mambo with Fred Astaire’s Alex Aillon (pictured below).

The second portion of the competition featured all five dance couples performing the waltz, after which, the judges faced a difficult decision trying to choose a champion.

Jill Nelson and Alex Aillon were the judges’ favorite in the waltz competition, but Katherine Cook and Malik Delgado’s outstanding tango captured the evening’s championship trophy.

Fred Astaire Dance Studio followed the competition with a stunning show put on by their professional dancers followed by a lesson for the guests before the dance floor was opened to the gala guests to show off their own dance moves.

We extend a giant thank you to all our sponsors, contributors and guests as well as the fantastic volunteers who made the evening such an amazing success.  Thank you also to our professional photographer Andie Petkus as well as our volunteer photographer Izzy Ventura for the stunning images from the event. Be sure to check PCRI’s Gala Website as well as our Facebook page for more photos of the event … and mark your calendar for Saturday, March 15, 2014 for the 3rd Annual Gala!

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